Do Real Closers Have Schizophrenia?
One of the comments I often hear as a sales manager and trainer is, “After I’ve worked to develop a good relationship with a client, I have a hard time just suddenly changing my personality into Mr. Aggressive Super-Closer and going for the jugular because ‘corporate needs more sales now!”
This is also a common challenge among other non-selling professionals who must sell their own services.
What’s Wrong Here?
What’s wrong here? Why do some people feel like they have to transform their personality in order to advance the sale? Is it because they are being pressured to move an opportunity faster than a client is ready for? Or perhaps the language they have been taught to use isn’t congruent with their personality?
Both of these can be true.
The Coaching Moment
Coaching a client to take the next step is a special moment. Coaching moments to help clients towards their goal should:
- Be paced at the rate the client is ready for, and
- Should involve language that is non-confrontational and natural for the sales professional.
Taking this approach creates better relationships and helps clients feel more in control of the entire process. It puts them in the driver’s seat while we guide and coach them. This is in stark contrast to the common sales advice to “control the sale.” (FYI – Control is an illusion. But that’s a post for another day.)
Ironically, pacing at the rate clients are ready for accelerates the entire process because of the trust factor involved.
Trust Accelerates Sales
As Stephen M. R. Covey has outlined so well in his book The Speed of Trust, “Trust always affects two outcomes: speed and cost. When trust goes down, speed goes down and cost goes up.” The corollary to this is true as well.
When we increase trust we both increase speed and decrease costs.
I have found this to be so true that occasionally clients over-trust to the point where they begin to take shortcuts. That is, they trust so much in the sales professional that they don’t take the time to cover certain details because they are confident that they will ultimately be taken care of. This is valuable trust indeed and something that must be managed with great responsibility and care.
Trust accelerates sales. Attempting to close opportunities faster than clients are ready for erodes trust.
Attempting to change your personality or using a “closing technique” that in incongruent with your personal values triggers the alarms of your client and diminishes trust. There is no need to become something you are are not as you coach your clients toward closure. You are everything you need to be right now. Simply change the language you use to facilitate change to something more comfortable.
CLOSING TIP: Trust accelerates sales.